Mother pays tribute to Forest Row son killed in collision

Thomas Dawes
Thomas Dawes

The family of a 19-year-old man who was killed in a collision in Chuck Hatch have paid tribute to their loved one.

Thomas Dawes, of Medway Drive, Forest Row, and 20-year-old Luke Power, of North Street, Turners Hill, died after their motorbikes collided with a Range Rover on the B2026 at its junction with Wrens Warren at about 6pm on September 14, police said.

Linda Dawes, the mother of Thomas, said: “There is a huge void in our lives without Thomas. Our home seems very quiet - it often seemed like a bikers’ cafe when he had all his friends around.

“His brother, Adam has lost his best buddy. They were extremely close. He will be sorely missed by his father Peter, stepfather Paul, his grandparents and the rest of the family.

“Thomas had a huge smile on his face all the time. He was caring and helpful and had hundreds of friends who he was never too busy for, day or night.

“He was a hard worker who saved up for his motorbikes from his wages, right from his first paper round. He worked now full time at, Mid Sussex Timber and was made head of yard, when he had only been there for six months.

“Thomas had his phone glued to his ear at times. You could hear him before you could see him. He came home every lunch break to eat and check on me. He was always very smart, especially his hair.

“He was a very loving grandson and was often at his granny’s house doing jobs for her and digging her garden.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their lovely cards, for the flowers I have received and for the generosity and support of everyone, in particular Sarah Chapman, my best friend, who has been with myself and Paul on a daily basis, helping us at this devastating time, with all the necessary arrangements.

“Life goes on but Thomas will never be forgotten. He will always be loved and in our hearts and thoughts forever.

“He was born to be wild.”

The funeral of both men will be held at Holy Trinity Church in Forest Row at 2.30pm on Tuesday (September 30).

Police are still appealing for witnesses to the crash or anyone who saw any of the vehicles in the minutes beforehand.

Police said the 52-year-old man who was driving the Range Rover who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been released on bail until November 10.

Anyone with information should email or call 101 quoting Operation Mantell.